Carbonara is a deceptively simple yet profoundly satisfying dish. It's a testament to the Italian culinary philosophy of using few but high-quality ingredients. Join us in this article as we hunt down the best Carbonara in Rome, Italy!
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The History of Carbonara
One idea says carbonara started after World War II, thanks to American soldiers in Italy. They had military food like bacon and powdered eggs. Italians mixed these with their pasta. Some think this American-Italian mash-up created carbonara.
Another story is about Renato Gualandi, a Bologna chef. He might have invented carbonara in 1944. He cooked for Allied troops using what he had: bacon, cream, processed cheese, and dried egg yolk.
Carbonara's recipe has changed a lot. It was once simple and cheap. It used whole eggs, pancetta or guanciale, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Now, some folks add cream. That's a big debate among food purists.
They first wrote about carbonara in the mid-20th century. But, food historians found older clues. Like, 19th-century Neapolitan cookbooks had egg, cheese, and pepper recipes. But no pasta.
About the name "carbonara," there's no single story. Some say it's about coal miners. Others link it to Rome's "La Carbonara" restaurant, opened in 1912. But they don't claim they invented it.
Despite different stories, everyone agrees carbonara got famous worldwide after World War II. Italian immigrants took it everywhere, leading to many new versions.
The Best Carbonara in Rome (the Runner-Ups)
In the gritty, sauce-splattered alleys of Rome, where the hum of Vespas is as thick as the aroma of simmering guanciale, these restaurants, each a bastion of tradition in their own right, sling their versions of Carbonara with a passion that's almost religious.
Oh, how easy it is to fall in love with each twist, each turn of the fork wrapped in that creamy, eggy, pork-laden goodness. You might find yourself pledging allegiance to one, maybe branding it as your numero uno. But in this Eternal City, in the quest for the champion of Rome's Best Carbonara, there will only be one victor.
Their carbonara is a greasy, soggy delight. It's all about the pasta, the creamy texture, and the atmosphere.
It's near the large dome and they attract plenty of tourists but is also well-liked by residents. They have a luscious, well seasoned carbonara. It has a diverse population and perfectly captures the essence of nostalgia.
Although it is more expensive, you're getting better ingredients and an outstanding carbonara.
They deserve special recognition. It's all about the finest ingredients and a delicious carbonara. To maximize creaminess, egg whites and yolks are combined.
The Best Carbonara in Rome
As for Savoring Italy, we're suckers for the Italian classics, those timeless symphonies of taste that have stood the test of time. So, when it comes to plunging deep into the heart of Rome's Carbonara soul, we find ourselves drawn to Osteria da Fortunata - Pellegrino. That's where our vote lands for the best Carbonara in Rome, Italy!
Final Judgement Notes:
But if it's about rich, indulgent Carbonara, head to Checchino in Testaccio. And for a mix of sights and eats, Armando al Pantheon's your spot. Great Carbonara with a side of history.
How to Make Carbonara
For pasta, tonnarelli's the real deal, but spaghetti or rigatoni can do the job. Guanciale's key. It's pork jowl, salted, peppered, aged for three months. (Pancetta is a plan B, less fat, drier.)
Cheese-wise, Pecorino Romano's the classic. It's from Lazio, same as this dish. Parmigiano Reggiano is fine in a pinch. Eggs, go whole or just yolks. Yolks dodge the slime factor. And black pepper, make it freshly ground for the real taste.
Cooking it, here's the play-by-play:
- Boil pasta in salted water until it's al dente.
- Fry guanciale strips till crisp, then cool them off.
- Whisk egg yolks, cheese, and some black pepper in a bowl.
- Drain pasta, keep some water. Mix it in the pan with guanciale.
- Add the egg-cheese mix, stir like mad. Pasta's heat cooks the eggs, makes it creamy.
- Serve it right away. You want that creamy kick.
A few no-no's:
- No cream or butter. The eggs and cheese bring the creaminess. Add pasta water if needed.
- Skip onions and garlic. Not in the Roman rulebook.
- Forget parsley and peas. Not part of the original deal.
When serving it, pair with a Lazio white wine, like a fruity Frascati. And have some bread handy to clean the plate.
Food Tours in Rome
Rome: Food Tour with Market Visit? You're looking at over 25 tastings of top-notch Italian stuff like truffles, balsamic, pizza, pasta. It's a winner for food variety and hitting Rome's biggest market.
Rome: Food Tour with Unlimited Food and Barolo Wine, it's all about the real Italian vibe, away from the tourist trails. It's big on wine choices and heaps of food, pizza included, great for all diets.
Rome: Twilight Trastevere Food Tour with Wine Tasting, that's for the food and wine buffs, not so much art museum types. It's a journey through Trastevere, ending at a gelato spot. The guides are lively, know their things.
Where to Stay in Rome
Over the years, I stayed at a couple of great places in Filicudi. Check them out! Also, visit Tripadvisor for more options, deals, booking, reviews and photos!
🏨 Hotel Regina Margherita's right in the buzzing Università area. A short 200 meters from Policlinico Metro. People dig its modern style and ace staff.
🏨 Hotel Ottaviano Augusto sits in Vaticano Prati, under a kilometer from Ottaviano Metro. It's a hit for being near tourist stuff, allergy-free rooms, a terrace, free WiFi, and its own eatery.
🏨 Quirinale Luxury Rooms? Bang in the center, just a 10-minute stroll from the Coliseum. Gets thumbs up for location and staff.
🏨 Campo de' Fiori 34, known for comfy rooms and solid breakfast. Right in the heart of Rome, close to big attractions.
🏨 NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali overlooks the Roman Forum. Has a rooftop bar and restaurant. People love its spot and friendly staff.
🏨 Domus Luxury Gianicolo's a fresh-done villa. It's got fitness stuff and a garden, offering a private, plush stay.
🏨 Relais Merulana Guest House, near The Colosseum. It's well-rated for location.
🏨 H10 Palazzo Galla's near Trevi Fountain. Modern, clean, and snug. Comes with a shared lounge, private parking, a terrace, and a bar.
🏨 Room Mate Filippo, also close to Trevi Fountain. Gets props for location, cleanliness, and friendly staff. Has a gym and good breakfast.
🏨 Otivm Hotel, another one near Trevi Fountain. It's known for breakfast variety and being close to major sites.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions About the Best carbonara in Rome)
Tucci recommended Roscioli in Rome. Their pasta dishes are absolutely top-notch. They serve everything from carbonara to truffle cacio e pepe. He also mentioned Trapizzino for street food. They make pizza pockets with Roman flavors, like tripe alla romana and chicken cacciatore. Pizzarium was another recommendation. It's a totally casual spot, famous for unique pizza toppings. They have a bunch of gourmet slices. For gelato, Tucci swears by Giolitti. It's a historic place in Rome, serving tons of flavors since 1900. He also digs Rome's local markets. Campo de’ Fiori and Mercato di Testaccio are his picks. They're full of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and local stuff.
Rome is the carbonara capital. Here's what I learned about its carbonara scene:
Origin and History: Carbonara likely emerged in Rome around 1944, after World War II. It's said to have originated from the surplus of bacon from American troops. The first Italian carbonara recipe appeared in 1954.
Best Carbonara Spots in Rome:
Antica Pesa: A historic spot famous for its whole egg carbonara.
Armando al Pantheon: Serving classic carbonara since 1961.
Da Enzo al 29: In Trastevere, known for its rigatoni carbonara.
Grappolo D’oro: Renowned for its crispy guanciale in the dish.
Luciano: Cucina Italiano: Chef Luciano Monosilio, the “king of carbonara,” runs this place.
La Pergola: A Michelin-starred restaurant offering a gourmet version of carbonara.
Italy's pasta scene is legendary, thanks to these top chefs:
Gualtiero Marchesi: The pioneer of modern Italian cuisine, he was the first Italian to earn 3 Michelin stars. He's known for his innovative yet traditional dishes.
Massimo Bottura: Globally recognized for reimagining Italian classics. His restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has three Michelin stars. His style? Tradition with a twist.
Carlo Cracco: A star in Italian haute cuisine and TV, Cracco has earned 6 Michelin stars. He's all about innovation.
Massimiliano Alajmo: Youngest chef to get three Michelin stars at 28. He heads “Le Calandre”.
Antonino Cannavacciuolo: TV chef on “Cucine da incubo” and MasterChef Italia. Two Michelin stars for his “Villa Crespi”.
Giorgio Locatelli: Earned a Michelin star in 2003 for Locanda Locatelli. He's about simple, innovative cooking.
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